Faculty Participate in Academic in Residence Program at Butler/Till Advertising
A unique program at Butler/Till Advertising in Rochester has given the College’s Communication/Journalism faculty a chance to bring more than just a snapshot of agency life back to the classroom. Dr. Lauren Vicker, Professor and Internship Director; Kathleen Marchaesi-Ciaraldi, Adjunct Professor; and Tom Proietti, former Resident Media Scholar, have all spent time at the agency as part of the Academic in Residence program.
“As the internship director for our department, I’ve had a chance to visit agencies to meet supervisors and see what our interns are doing,” says Vicker. “But to have complete access to the agency and its employees for extended days was very enlightening.”
As part of the program, the faculty attended agency meetings, met one-on-one with employees to find out more about their jobs, and were interviewed on camera for Butler/Till’s One-Minute Mentor program. For Vicker, who also teaches the Communication Careers Seminar, meetings with Fisher alumni who work at the agency were particularly helpful.
“I met with Brandon Smith and Nicole Henry, who just graduated in May and are working as coordinators,” she said. “They explained their jobs and gave me a better sense of the skills and qualities needed for new hires. I can take that information back to my students to help guide them as they plan their career paths.”
Peter Infante, President of Butler/Till, reached out to the local colleges to invite faculty participation.
“We hoped this program would help improve the effectiveness of our recruiting efforts and deepen our relationships with the local colleges and universities, and we’ve definitely succeeded in that,” said Infante. “The professors who have participated have a much better understanding of our company’s culture and can more confidently recommend specific students/graduates for job openings at Butler/Till. The employees we’ve hired as a result have been some of the most successful new hires we’ve made to-date.”
Infante also noted that they would like to help professors gain a deeper understanding of what it’s like to work in today’s advertising agency. For Marchaesi, who teaches Introduction to Advertising at Fisher, completing the Academic in Residence program these past two summers has been beneficial.
“Spending time at Butler/Till offered me an opportunity to interact with a variety of professionals in all areas of the agency. Having a chance to sit with a Digital Media Designer and learn about the latest technologies being used is valuable,” said Marchaesi. “I’m able to use some of this information in my class and I also make new contacts in the business – always helpful in connecting students with potential job opportunities.”